Quotidian 2 (December 2010)Anne Swhajor; Meike Heessels; Paul van der Velde; Eric Venbrux: Aan de Ganges in Twente

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One of the most important rites of passage in the life of a Hindu presents itself when death occurs. Therefore Hindu death rituals are elaborate and of great importance to the deceased as well as the bereaved. In the diaspora, Hindus face difficulties performing death rites as the immigrant countries’ legislation and traditions pose restrictions. While death rituals of different cultures are cherished in the Dutch funeral culture, in which individualism and personal wishes stand central, Hindus still have ritual needs and wishes that are not yet fulfilled. This article analyzes the creative ways in which Hindus, lay as well as specialists, and Dutch funeral professionals deal with these restrictions and try to find solutions to them. In this intercultural domain rituals change: on the one hand, they become simplified, while on the other new practices arise and ‘old’ traditions are re-invented. In this article one example is central, in which professionals at the crematorium of Usselo and the Hindu community of Twente worked creatively together to build a Hindu monument for Hindus as well as non-Hindus to scatter the ashes of the deceased according to Hindu rites.